MEET ALEJANDRO PROATO
What was the inspiration behind your piece for SWELL Sculpture Festival 2022?
I lived my childhood in front of the sea in Argentine Patagonia. On one side it had the horizon of the sea and on the other the horizon of the Patagonian desert. That relationship with immensity has marked my life. PERMANENT SUNRISE the work that I present this year in SWELL is a work that talks about the immensity of the landscape and smallness of human existence. Southern countries such as Australia and Argentina share this landscape and the people who live in them have the energy of their territory incorporated into their essence. This sunrise that I will build on Currumbin beach is a tribute to the relationship that humans have with the beauty and intensity of natural events, in this case the beginning of the day on the horizon.
What does exhibiting in the 20th year of SWELL Sculpture Festival mean to you?
I am glad that a public art festival is having this continuity. For me it is very important that art be able to relate to the public space where there is a meeting between people in freedom. I hope that with my contribution and that of the other artists we can collaborate so that this type of initiative continues to grow in its proposal to link art with the community.
What are the three art mediums you couldn’t live without?
- To draw the idea : Graphite pencil, paper, autocad, sketch up, photoshop.
- Materials for the structure: aluminum tubes, steel tubes, steel cables
- All kinds of material to build colour lines: threads, plastic cables, ropes, ribbons.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
Many years ago I was exhibiting sculptures and had made an installation with fabrics as a background. An old sculpture master told me seeing it “you are good for installations, develop that path too.”
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another artist, who would you pick and what would you do?
Olaffur Eliasson and I would make a 1km diameter star made of gold coloured threads in Iceland.
What is the best compliment for an artist to receive?
“Your work seems to have always been in this landscape, please don’t take it out, we will miss it.”
Do you believe in ghosts or have any good unexplainable stories?
I don’t believe in ghosts nor am I a religious person, but I like to think the possibility of the spirit of things, I’m close to an animism related to Shintoism. I am passionate about the energy of nature. In 2010 I was in Cottesloe Beach with my work ARTE DE LAS PLAYAS made with flags in the wind. There were 2 days left of the exhibition and they warned that an intense storm was coming. Like on a ship, I prepared for the storm by removing all the flags from the masts. The day after the storm, the big waves had brought seaweed to the beach that surrounded the masts of my work. I could see that the pattern made by the algae was the profile of a whale and my masts looked like harpoons on its body. That was the last day of the exhibition and since it took me a day to put up the flags, only the poles and the whale remained. I explained to the people who came to the exhibition that day that the work was a drawing of a harpooned whale and that the work had been done by the groundswell.
If you had to get a tattoo of a famous artwork, what would it be?
THE STARRY NIGHT by Vincent Van Gogh.
Do you believe pineapple belongs on a pizza?
One of the main ingredients of pizza is the tomato, which is a fruit, and according to what I have tried, it goes very well with another fruit such as pineapple.
Do you have a power outfit that you wear while creating?
In Argentina, people who work in the fields (gaucho) wear trousers called “the gaucho pant”. They are very strong and comfortable to work doing my works.
If you could travel back to any point in time, when and where would you go and why?
I would travel to 3022 because I would like to see how humanity evolved up to that date.
Is a connection to place important for you and your work?
All my works start from the inspiration that a place gives me. I engage in a dialogue with the site and as a result of that dialogue the work arises. Without a site that inspires me, I could not do any work.
Joss Smith is an emerging graphic designer based in Tweed Heads, loving everything visual and immersive. Her passion for the creative arts has led her to study a Bachelor of Visual Communication and Graphics. She hopes to balance her love for the arts, culture and nature with her strengths in communication and management to create wicked designs with wicked people.